Initiative to increase below-market-rate housing added to June ballot

A recent petition drive succeeded in adding an initiative to the June ballot which, if passed, would increase the number of below-market-rate homes planned at two major redevelopment sites within Bayview-Hunters Point, at an $800 million cost to developers, according to city officials.

The initiative would require homebuilders to sell half of the thousands of homes planned at Hunters Point Shipyard and Candlestick Point in The City’s southeast to below-average-wage earners for below-market prices.

Volunteers linked to the Grace Tabernacle Church, nonprofit People Organized to Win Employment Rights and other southeastern groups helped collect signatures for the initiative, backed by Supervisor Chris Daly, according to organizer Lynne Brown. “We all came together with this one,” he said.

The Department of Elections ruled late Wednesday that 8,429 valid signatures had been collected — enough to qualify the initiative for the June ballot.

Michael Cohen, The City’s Director of Economic and Workforce Development, said infrastructure at the projects, being paid for by the developer, Lennar Corp., already cost $1.5 billion. Cohen said the initiative would “kill” the project if it passes because it would reduce revenue from property tax and home sales by an estimated $800 million.

An initiative on the June ballot, backed by Lennar, promises that at least one-quarter of the homes would be sold at below-market prices.

Half of the planned homes would have to be built at below-market rates if both initiatives pass, according to City Attorney spokeswoman Alexis Thompson.

jupton@examiner.com

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